Creativity comes in waves, as they say. Depending on the tide of the day, you might be experiencing a drought or a tidal wave. While sometimes it's easy to feel inspired by everything you see, touch or smell, other times, it can feel impossible to sit down and create. It's normal, albeit frustrating, to feel creatively blocked now and again.
Although when it comes to unblocking yourself creatively, what's there to be done? Well, I've compiled some tips from myself and other creative friends on how to creatively unblock yourself. Read on to revive your creative mind.
It can be tempting to sit still at your work desk and wait for inspiration to strike. However, inspiration, like a rebellious child, doesn't always come when we call. Sometimes you have to just move on and do something completely unrelated for a while before it decides to appear.
Whether it's cooking your favourite meal or watching a bit of telly, doing something to distract yourself can help you get out of the creative rut you're in. Perhaps running errands can help dislodge that creative stone or even meeting your friends for a coffee. It doesn't matter what you decide to do, as long as you give yourself a change of scenery.
This is my favourite way to get my creative juices flowing. After all, doing physical exercise is a great way to let your mind wander into greener pastures. Personally, I find swimming works best for me to generate new ideas or solve problems creatively. There's something meditative about it.
While swimming might not be for everyone, the idea is to keep your body busy. Choose from doing sport, going for a walk, doing yoga or simply dancing. Find something that you enjoy doing that gets your energy flowing and keeps you from being stuck in your head. The endorphins you generate from getting physical like Olivia Newton-John don't hurt either.
Let It Go
If you didn't watch Disney's Frozen, you might not get the joke and if you did you're probably singing along in your head. The idea here is to simply let it go and try to create something no matter what it is. As creators, we usually have high expectations for ourselves and our work.
When we begin to create and don't see something that meets our standards immediately, it can quickly end up in the bin. That can actually be counterproductive to the creative process. Instead, you should try using free expression to stoke your creative fire. Free writing, free drawing, or playing an old musical instrument without any expectations is a great way to let your creativity flow freely.
Talk Isn't Cheap
If your creative work is collaborative, you may benefit a lot from hashing out your ideas with other creatives. Meeting up with a friend to brainstorm is a great way to get a different perspective on your work.
Also, sometimes friends or colleagues can help enlighten us about new paths to pursue by giving constructive criticism. Even if your work isn't collaborative, showing it to someone you trust can help you decide what your next step should be. Be sure to talk it out with someone whose opinion you respect.
Learn Something New
When our minds are clogged up, sometimes it can help to try on a new hat so to speak. Read a new book, outside of the genre you'd typically chose, perhaps something to give you a kick in the pants. Have you read Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon? It's worked to get many artists out of their head and onto paper, he talks about how to use both digital to analogue strategies to create your best work when coming up with ideas. He even made an ideas journal for you to explore them.
But if you're looking for more ways to experience better ideas, doing a creative course from home can really open up your approach and change your perspectives on old ideas (and help you to generate new ones). The courses that are listed here, do just that.
As a creative, being creatively blocked can be a total downer. Although it's all a part of the process, so it's best just to accept it and work against it. Test out these four tips and see what works best to get yourself creatively unblocked. Best of luck to you on your next creative project.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashuni Pérez was born in Arizona's red rock country, grew up on the Texas-Mexico border, and now resides on Spain's east coast. She is a co-founder of The Skinned Knee Collective, an international webzine, and works as a freelance eco writer. Find her online at @ashuuuuni.